Product News and Recalls

GSK to fight legal settlements over diabetes drug

In the United States, pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline has agreed to pay hundreds of millions of dollars in legal settlements related to its diabetes drug Avandia.

But the company intends to fight efforts by British families to get similar settlements, in what a Reuters story predicts will be a “lengthy court battle.”

European authorities pulled Avandia from the market in 2010 after it was linked to increased heart risks, Reuters reports. But it’s still approved for a limited number of patients in the United States.

Avandia isn’t the only diabetes drug associated with health risks. Studies have also linked the type 2 diabetes medications Januvia and Byetta to pancreatitis and pancreatic cancer. In addition, Byetta has been linked to an increased risk of thyroid cancer.

According to the Reuters story, GlaxoSmithKline has indicated to the court that it’s willing to spend $945,000 defending one of the Avandia cases, although the actual claim was worth a fraction of that amount.

The Reuters report quotes Daniel Slade, a lawyer representing the defendants, as saying: “Even though a settlement was reached in the U.S. to settle lawsuits, it seems GSK wishes to put up a fight in the UK as indicated in correspondence pre-proceedings.”

The story says “many thousands” of patients or their families could be eligible for compensation for death or harm caused to a relative.

You should consult with a doctor if you have any ongoing symptoms or health concerns, and before making any changes in medication. You should also consult with a Lopez McHugh attorney if you or a loved one was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer after taking Januvia or Byetta.

See the story here:

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/01/30/us-glaxosmithkline-avandia-britain-idUSBRE90T0MB20130130